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7/25/2016 8:25 AM
 

Hey all -

I thought I'd consult your collective intelligence, which far surpasses mine. I've had a mostly sleepless night, as I have a sick toddler, so I've been kicking around an idea, and if it doesn't make sense or has been covered before, I apologize - just means I need more coffee! 

I like the idea of a scout rifle and have been looking at getting one for some time, but never pulled the trigger. For me, it would be primarily a general purpose field rifle (hunting, carrying on farm maintenance, backpacking), and secondly as a rifle I can work on precision fundamentals. As much as I like the looks of the Ruger Gunsite Scout, I'm still toying with the idea of building one from a Remington 700.

I've been eyeing a threaded 16.5" Remington 700 SPS with a 1:10" twist, with a Hogue overmolded stock. It would be a relatively simple affair to convert it to a DBM. I like traditional mounted scopes, mostly because I've used a forward mount scope and there's greater variety of regular scopes. Long-term I'd like to add irons like a v-notch and post, but they would be more purposed as back-up irons and not my primary sighting. Edited to add - the weight of the stock 700 SPS is 7.5lbs, compared to 7.0lbs for the laminate stocked Ruger, and 6.25 for the composite Ruger. So that's a fairly significant weight penalty, most of which I feel comes from the heavy barrel profile. 

A couple reasons I like the 700 over the Ruger is the action is bordering on being universally present (if/when I need to replace parts, they're readily available), I like the 700 safety over the Mauser safety (easier for me to manipulate while maintaining a firing position - which could probably be solved by training), and the smoothness of the push-feed action over the control feed (I'm more familiar with push feeds, and the only control feed I've used was an old 1903). 

Cost wise, I can pick up the 700 for $730, and the DBM kit for about $70; most Ruger's around here are $900-1000 (but I just found one for $799). There would be the eventual cost of adding irons to consider, and the immediate necessity for a scope. I would be putting a brake on either rifle (I have a persistent shoulder injury from my infantry days that makes shooting anything more than a 243 or 25-06 rather painful, especially if I shoot more than 20 rounds). 

I guess what I'm looking for is feedback. Would doing all this make sense, or would it make sense to just buy the Ruger and not fiddle around? Are my predilections for the safety and push feed easily overcome with training and practice? 

As a side question - from everything I've seen, the difference between a 16" and 20" barrel for 308 is negligent for real world use. Would you agree? Would the 16" barrel decrease my usable hunting range? Where I am (Tennessee) and with my skills, I'd probably never shoot a deer or hog past 200 yards, so from my understanding it wouldn't make a difference as I'd be losing only around 100fps. 

Thanks for your time and any input you have. 

-J

 
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7/25/2016 9:35 AM
 
Dude, just go buy a poly-stocked Ruger Scout and be done with it.  The ONLY way I'd build a Scout Rifle today is if I was already a machinist/gunsmith and I could do it myself.  I'm guessing you've not dealt with too many gunsmiths.  The difference in money will buy a LOT of hirtenberger 308.
 
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7/25/2016 12:08 PM
 
Just so you know, that 700 SPS is HEAVY. Even if you restocked it, the heavy barrel (something like 4lbs by itself) will keep you from "handy" rifle weight.

It's nice if you're not wanting to carry it for miles on end...
 
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7/25/2016 2:42 PM
 
I would bet the 700 SPS 16.5" is heavier than 7.5 lbs. My 20" version weighs 8.25 lbs. Perhaps there could be 3/4 of a pound in 3.5 inches of bull barrel, but that seems like a lot. The synthetic stocked Ruger GSR is truly 6.25 lbs, BUT that is without a magazine. If you use the factory steel mag, start adding weight. Load it with ammo and it is not exactly flyweight although still about as good as you'll get in that type of rifle. If you add DBM stuff to a Remington, you will also start adding on. Most of that bottom metal is designed for sniper type rifles and lightweight is not the goal.

Oh, and if you are set on a Remington and want to keep it cheap, buy mine for less from the Classifieds and cut the barrel back. :D
 
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7/25/2016 5:50 PM
 

Hey Take-a-knee - yeah, that's what I keep going back to. Thanks for your input. The Ruger seems to be just about 90% of what I want with some minor details that I'm not used to, but every other rifle it would seem I'd have to force it to fit into a similar role (DBM, irons + optic). 


Hey chorpie - yeah, good point. I have a Ruger American Ranch, with a 16" barrel that's just under 7lbs after sling/ammo/optic and I really like how it handles, which makes the Ruger synthetic seem awesome at 6.25lbs and the much heavier Remington seem less appealing. Thanks for pointing it out.

CCH - That's interesting, because on Remington's website they are listed as the same weight! Why did you decide to sell your SPS?
 
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7/26/2016 8:15 AM
 
Buy once, cry once. Thats my philosophy on it. I've owned both a blued and a stainless ruger scout. You're right, they're 80-90% there already, but I just can't get past the gritty sticky bolt in a potential "fighting rifle". My stainless scout was AMAZINGLY accurate though. The ten round plastic ruger mags were also not really bet-your-life-on reliable. Anyway, I am also considering another 308 bolt gun, 16 inch scout-type rifle, although I much prefer a conventional scope. Scout scopes were probly great back when cooper came up with the idea, but I just don't think a guy gives up much with a modern 2.5-10 or similar, and a lot is gained at distance. The speed/scope clearance issue is solved with a big ol bolt knob. I realize that this is a diffrrence from the popular opinion on this forum, but its where I'm at, and my opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it.

Anyway, I want to build a rifle similar in concept to Evan's custom Remmy the HPG Pratical. I'm debating between a remington action, or just buying a Tikka CTR, and cutting the barrel back, and restocking it. I currently have a CTR in 260, and it is very impressive! The bolt stroke is SO smooth! And it already has the sako extractor, and a good trigger, all things you'd pay big money to make a factory 700 action do. The one downside to the Tikka, and the reason I'm stilk debating, is that the tikka action is 1.25 inches longer than a 700 action, so all other things being equal, the rifle would be 1.25 inches longer in Tikka than Remington. Compact "handiness" is a big goal of mine, so the extra inch isn't that appealing. Anyway, those are my thoughts, hopefully they help somehow. I would appreciate any opinions on my Tikka vs Remington length debate!
 
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7/26/2016 9:37 AM
 
Shrubjr wrote:
 ...but I just can't get past the gritty sticky bolt in a potential "fighting rifle".

You're right about that action.  I've gotten mine to smooth out a good bit by using copious amounts of Fire Clean (prior) and Weapon Shield (current), plus just running the action over and over while sitting and watching TV.  It helped a good bit....but still not as smooth as it ought to be.  I have my Grandfather's pre-'54 Winchester Model 70 30-06....the action is smooth as glass.  Sure wish I could get my Gunsite to act like that.  At some point I will probably hand off that rifle to a buddy of mine that is a Gunsmith in Pueblo, Colorado to see if he can work that grit out of it once and for all.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
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7/26/2016 10:12 AM
 

Manufacturer specs for weight are frequently off. My Winchester 70 FW was supposed to be 6 lbs. 8 ounces but came in at 6 lbs. 15 ounces. Winchester has since edited their website. Remington specs are obviously wrong at some point for the Tacticals as they list a 20" and 16.5" at the same weight. Doesn't seem possible with a bull barrel. Selling mine because I got a good deal, but don't really have the funds to set it up right and need money for other stuff. I'm a little torn as I can't find an account of one that wasn't a great shooter. Would keep it if discretionary funds allowed.

 
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7/27/2016 6:23 AM
 
If you are wanting a traditional mount scope, I would look at some of the CZ offerings. The actions tend to be smoother, and they have more than a few that come with irons. I also wouldn't rule out finding an older really clean Remington with irons. Modifications is always an iffy thing, and in my opinion it is better to by closer to what you want to start with. That is why we recommend the RGS so much, it is an 80-90% solution. Not perfect by any means, but in the polymer form pretty dang good.

As far as barrel length on paper the difference between 16" and 20" may, and I say may matter, in the field not at all.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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7/27/2016 8:16 AM
 
Thanks for the input everyone. From what y'all are saying, and from what I've seen on the forums, the Ruger really seems like the best option. I'm not sure what y'all mean by a gritty bolt though. I own a Ruger and it started out really tight and sticky, but after 2000 rounds and a lot of dry manipulations it worked itself out, but the grittiness seems a little different than that?

Scot - I've looked at the CZs, and they seem like really nice rifles, but they've never really "clicked" with me, if that makes sense. Thanks for the suggestion though. I've found a couple Remingtons with irons, but they have 22" barrels are in .243. I play with that idea, but I'm not sure that's really what I want, since most of my hunting is hog in the brush. (I realize a 30-30 lever action would be great for that, but I've had some bad experiences with the levers locking up and taking a long time to fix.)
 
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7/27/2016 1:29 PM
 
Scot- I don't have personal experience, but I've read that because of the way the bolt is set up on the CZ's there really is a scope/bolt handle clearance issue. That's what the interweb says about the 527's anyway, I dunno about the bigger rifles.

GoKartz- The bolt issue may well work itself out like that, I certainly didn't get anywhere close to a 2000 round count on either of mine! I read an article somewhere where someone put lapping compound in their GSR bolt and ran it a few hundred times, then carefully removed all of the lapping compound. I couldn't bring myself to try that with either of my scouts, but it may well be the ticket if a guy is committed to keeping his GSR. I also noticed that the whole bolt stroke was much better on my stainless version than my blued version. I couldn't determine if that had to do with the "lubricity" of the stainless steel itself, or whether is was because the blued rifle was purchased soon after Ruger launched the GSR, and the stainless was purchased a few years later. The stainless version was also superior in accuracy compared to the blued. I am a very rudimentary reloader, definitely not one of those closet-machinist tinker reloader guys, and I achieved one-hole 100 yard groups fairly easily with once-fired federal brass and berger 155 VLD Hunting bullets.
 
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7/27/2016 7:59 PM
 
Hey Shrubjr, Yeah, I shoot a lot ... Part addiction, part therapeutic, all fun. I'd heard about putting lapping compound in; I guess if I pick up a GSR I'll have to see if lots of use breaks it in or if I'll need some lapping. I guess the problem hasn't been bad enough for you to want to sell them though?
 
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7/27/2016 9:08 PM
 
Shrubjr wrote: I'm debating between a remington action, or just buying a Tikka CTR, and cutting the barrel back, and restocking it. I currently have a CTR in 260, and it is very impressive! The bolt stroke is SO smooth! And it already has the sako extractor, and a good trigger, all things you'd pay big money to make a factory 700 action do. 

 Sounds like you are looking for a "Ranger Rifle":

http://www.scout.com/outdoors/hunting/story/1562118-a-new-rifle-for-the-rangers

 

Back in Cooper's Gunsite 270 heydey, he wrote about Tikka bolt stop pins breaking.  Dunno if this is still the case.  It is a simple steel pin and could likely be replaced by drill rod or a drill bit of the proper diameter.

 
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7/27/2016 10:33 PM
 
I've sold both of them and don't own a GSR anymore.

The Tikka CTR I have in 260 is extremely close to the new ranger rifle minus open sights.

I will definitely research the bolt stop pin issue before I buy a second Tikka, thanks for the heads up.
 
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8/1/2016 11:13 AM
 
All I can say is ... Oops.

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I know a lot of you prefer the synthetic stock, and maybe after I carry the extra pound in the woods I'll agree with you, but I personally love the look of the laminate stock. And it was $200 cheaper and in stock at the LGS. So...

Also: the metal magazine that came with it is disappointing. It won't hold 10 rounds (the spring tension just pops the 10th round right out), and as many have mentioned online loading it is quite annoying without an anti-tilt follower. I've also had several instances where I go to load the magazine into the rifle, do something wrong (bump it maybe?), and 4 or 5 rounds just all pop right out. So I'll definitely be investing in some better magazines (PMAG?).

I'll get it out to the range here in the next few days and see how it shoots.

For those of you that offered your insight, I appreciate it.

-J
 
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8/1/2016 12:17 PM
 
Sounds like a defective metal magazine. Though pricey and heavier I think the Alpha mags are the standard. I haven't ran the PMAGs much other than testing to see if they worked so I can't really comment.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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